Calendars are the gift that keeps on giving.
Every year, for the past 20+ years my sister in law has gifted my family a new calendar for Christmas. I say family, but it’s really me she gives it to. They are always made with high-quality paper and have a theme that almost always has to do with gardening.
She knows how much I love to garden! We have her calendar hanging in our bedroom and look at it every day. It’s a wonderful way to remember her kindness.
Oh, how I wish that I had kept those 20+ calendars to use on the projects we’ve found to upcycle old calendars. Anything that you can make with fancy or plain paper can be repurposed using last year’s calendar.
The supplies needed for these projects are minimal and you’ll find they are already on hand. Grab your scissors, a ruler, a black marker, a few inexpensive spiral bound notebooks, and Mod Podge Waterbase Sealer. You’re all set!
#1 Upcycled Calendar Envelopes
This tutorial is from my friend Kathie at Homespun Seasonal Living. Earlier in the year, she shared calendula seeds with me and they came in one of her cute calendar envelopes. They are simple to make and come together easily. Kathie says they’re a great cold night project and easy for kids too. I agree with her, anyone can make them.
#2 Make a Newsprint Gift Box
Heather at The Homesteading Hippy has a tutorial for making gift boxes from scratch.
She used heavy cardboard paper and decorated it with newsprint pieces because she loved the look. You can make the box with heavy calendar paper or decorate the box with thin calendar paper in place of the newsprint.
#3 Make a DIY Pocket Journal
Do you love journals? Maybe you’re like me and have so many of them it’s questionable whether they can ever be filled. I say bring on more! These small pocket books are the cutest and will make terrific gifts.
Why not take your favorite calendar pictures and use them as inspiration for your the cover of your new pocket journal…
#4 Make Paper Beads
This is a fun activity to do with the kids and you will find that making paper beads is a relaxing craft. You could use fancy scrapbooking paper while you’re learning the ropes, but why. Upcycle this year’s calendar into beads instead.
#5 Decorate Metal Cans
Food storage fanatics will see the genius in this metal can project. Last year I painted #10 cans and used them as planters. Now I’ve found a use for smaller cans too.
The author at Fishtail Cottage intentionally leaves her empty metal can outdoors to give them a rustic patina. Then she Mod Podges seed packets to them and places summertime flowers sporadically throughout her house. Use your favorite calendar pictures on the side and enjoy them all year.
#6 Decorate a Spiral Bound Notebook
Spiral bound notebooks are easy to find and very inexpensive. They make great journals and serve as a handy place to keep ideas.
I love the idea that Judy Nolan came up with to create a deluxe version of her current address book. You can easily use calendar pages to add inside pockets, additional pages, and a new cover.
#7 DIY Paper Bow
I love giving gifts with big bows, but boy are those babies expensive! Here’s a tutorial from So You Think You’re Crafty to make your own from double-sided scrapbook paper.
This tutorial works best with thin calendar paper. Why not upcycle this year’s calendar into a bow instead of recycling it?
Envelope, box, bow and bead! Try one of these 7 tutorials to upcycle old calendars. They’ll make you want to call your friends and family and grab as many old calendars as you can.